Greater Fort Wayne Inc. selected as finalist for 2021 national Chamber of the Year award

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. has announced that it has been named a finalist for a 2021 national Chamber of the Year award, presented by the Alexandria, Va.-based Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

The awards are the most prestigious and competitive recognition presented annually by ACCE, GFW said. ACCE is an association of more than 9,000 professionals from 1,600 chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations, including members representing 93 of the top 100 U.S. metro areas.

“It’s a big deal just to be invited to apply for this award, let alone to make it to the final round,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of GFW Inc. “I’m very proud of our hard-working staff, our board of directors, our members, and our entire community. We wouldn’t be in this position without an entire organization—and community—that puts in the work and holds itself to the highest standards.”

The Chamber of the Year awards recognize the leadership role chambers have in their communities, GFW said. Those honored with the designation have demonstrated organizational strength and made an impact on key community priorities, such as: education, transportation, economic prosperity and quality of life.

“This year’s finalists are among the most impactful organizations within the industry,” said Sheree Anne Kelly, ACCE president and CEO. “Following a tumultuous year, these chambers emerged as community champions, providing catalytic leadership to address their region’s greatest challenges and opportunities for prosperity.”

To complete, Chambers must meet key performance criteria on the ACCE Annual Operations Survey as well as complete an application addressing all aspects of organizational operation and programmatic work. Applications are scored by peer chamber executives to determine finalists, GFW said. Winners are selected based on an interview before a panel of experienced chamber professionals.

Applicants are grouped into four categories based on annual revenue, membership, area population and other factors. GFW said it is one of three finalists in Category Three. Winners for each of the four categories will be announced later this month.

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